Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lloyd Knibb, Skatalites Drummer, RIP

Ska fans wordwide are mourning the passing of Skatalites drummer Lloyd Knibb (pictured at right with Bucket of The Toasters) who died last week (5/12/11) in Jamaica at age 80. Of particular significance to followers of Jamaican music, Knibb is acknowledged as the creator of the ska rhythm (from which flowed rocksteady and reggae). Here are the first few paragraphs from his obituary in the Jamaica Observer:
Lloyd Knibb, the veteran drummer who was a founding member of the Skatalites, died on Thursday evening at his family home in Kingston. He was 80.

Knibb, who succumbed to cancer of the liver, died in the company of friends and loved ones in keeping with his final wish.

According to a well-informed source, Knibb — after being told by doctors in Boston, USA that he had three days to live — asked to be flown home to Jamaica. He arrived in the island at midnight on Wednesday.

With his passing, only two of the original instrumentalists of the legendary musical aggregation that started approximately 50 years ago are now left alive. They are bassist Lloyd Brivette and alto saxophonist Lester Sterling.
Our condolences go out to the Knibb family and The Skatalites.

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Reggae DJ and writer Carter Van Pelt and Dan Batman conducted this amazing interview with Lloyd Knibb back in 1998. This is required reading for anyone who wants to know more about this seminal ska musician and his contribution to Jamaican music.

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